All the Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you’ll need (and a few more)

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 must-know Windows 10 tips and tricks.

If you want to give the impression that you’ve been using Windows 10 for years, learning a few keyboard shortcuts is the best way to go about it—you can navigate around the interface, get apps in position, trigger events, change settings and more with a couple of taps on your keyboard. Windows 10 is finally here, and Microsoft’s latest, greatest operating system is chock full of tricks and tweaks that can enhance your experience—and tailor Windows to your personal needs.Computer settings in Windows 8 were a hot mess: they were split between PC Settings and Control Panel, two completely separate ways to change most settings, but with enough differences that you had to use both.With the right key presses you can snap windows to where you want them, manage virtual desktops, awaken Cortana, and navigate seamlessly through the new OS like a seasoned professional. Here’s a look at five of the most useful. (Pssst: Our massive Windows 10 tips and tricks guide has much, much more.) The Cortana digital assistant is one of Windows 10’s highlight new features, but she truly shines if you take the time to tell her your interests.

It’s introduced DirectX 12 (which will reportedly squeeze a whole lot more out of high-end graphics cards), it features multiple desktops, and – most importantly – it’s not Windows 8. But before we get carried away and skip heedlessly into the brand new shiny, alluring land of Windows 10, let’s remember that such a big update will mean many changes, and not all of them for the better. Bonus: Whenever you snap a window to a side or a quadrant, Windows will automatically suggest you pick one of your open apps to fill the remaining real estate on your desktop. Remember how it felt upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8, clicking the Start button only to have your visual senses molested by the garish Start screen?

That meant I found myself occasionally booted from the safety of the desktop into the confusing world of Metro UI, when all I ever wanted to do was add a Bluetooth keyboard. Windows 10 fixes this, because the new Settings app isn’t a full-screen ‘Metro’ app — it pops up in a window on the desktop, just like it should. In the long run, Windows 10 will probably be awesome, but tempting though the free update may be, we suggest holding off and letting others test the waters first.

If you don’t feel entirely comfortable shouting out “hey Cortana!” across a crowded room, then there are keyboard shortcuts that can help—once Cortana is active, you can choice voice or keyboard input. The Task View button in the taskbar will show all your created virtual desktops—you can seemingly summon as many as your hardware can handle—as well as windows showing the software currently open in your active desktop. From there, you can either reserve an upgrade (Windows 10 will roll out over the next few weeks, so not everyone can get it day one), or go ahead and schedule an install if your device already qualifies. And it’s not always a two-way street — Settings harbors some options, like the new Battery Saver mode, or offline maps, that just aren’t there in Control Panel. Besides all the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts, there are plenty of old classics that have survived successive versions of the operating system and are still going strong.

These problems should be ironed out in the months following Windows 10’s release, but they’re yet another good reason to let others be the cannon fodder for the inevitable hail of bug bullets that will terrorise Windows 10 in its early days. Last but certainly not least, Windows 10 won’t allow you to skip updates this time around, but it tosses enthusiasts a bone by finally—FINALLY—including an option to schedule exactly when those mandatory restarts happen. And maybe most importantly, remember that the free upgrade offer only lasts a year; if you wait until July 30 of 2016, you’re going to have to pay up.

But it doesn’t actually work that well at all: some settings that I definitely need for a desktop setup, like the multiple-monitor display scaling, only show up in Settings. Once an update’s been downloaded, head into the Windows Update section of the Settings app’s “Updates & Security” section to tell your PC when it’s got a greenlight to reboot. To do so, head to the same Advanced Options menu for Updates & Security, then click on “Choose how updates are delivered.” By default, updates are available either way—via direct download to an Internet-connected PC, or via other PCs on your network—but you can change it to accept Windows Updates only if delivered via your local network.

But jumping between two settings apps, never quite knowing where to find something (or where that goddamn checkbox lives) manages to make something that should be simple and boring anything but. If you have a mid-high-end graphics card (an AMD card using the GCN architecture, or an Nvidia card running on Kepler, Maxwell or Fermi GPUs), then you’re OK. But even if you do meet the requirements, games relying on DirectX 12 will only start being released later in the year, so you may as well wait until then while Microsoft irons out the inevitable chinks in Windows 10.

With each major Windows release, older hardware tends to get left in the dust, even if it was working perfectly right up to the moment you upgraded your OS. Maybe it’s best to get rid of your old hardware artificially like this rather than waiting for it to grind to a halt – sort of like mercifully putting down an old, arthritic dog with a lethal injection rather than waiting for it to die a painful, natural death. They’re the first to machete their way through the jungle into uncharted territory, putting their computers on the line to ensure that the upgrade is safe for the millions of people who subsequently get Windows 10.

But another way of looking at it is that these people are volunteering themselves as human guinea pigs; their PCs will be injected with tons of early patches, security fixes and updates as Microsoft attempts to splatter the inevitable bugs and figure out just how to get its new behemoth of an operating system working properly. While we’re not expecting Windows 10 to cause the same amount of trauma as Windows 8, it’s almost certain that the OS will pack plenty of problems on launch day. The Xbox One controller will be plug-and-play with Windows 10, and there will be an official Xbox app giving you access to your friends lists, game histories and achievements.

However, given that your Xbox is more likely to be hooked up to your 50-inch TV in front of your Lazyboy chair, while your PC probably has a 24-inch screen in front of a creaky old office chair, this seems like the wrong way round to do things. Given Steam’s monopoly over PC gaming and the imminent arrival of its Steam Machines, it’s unlikely that we’ll see PC-to-Xbox streaming any time soon.

The one that let you watch TV on your PC using a TV tuner card, view your photo collections in “stunning new slide shows”, and browse your media library using “turbo scrolling”? In the early days of Windows 7, you’d offer yourself up as a default program for listening to music or watching videos with irritating enthusiasm (even though Microsoft stopped updating you by the time Windows 7 came out). But as I settled into using programs that were, well, not nicer, but just more useful than you, you slowly slipped away into the dark recesses of my hard drive – doomed to years of remaining undeleted, yet unnoticed. Now you’re gone, I wonder if there was more to you than met the eye, or if you just stuck around for too long – like a once-great boxer not knowing when to retire, and proceeding to get knocked out time and time again in their dotage.

However, for the full release it looks like Microsoft has removed this option, which could mean that once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, there’s no turning back. In its defence, Microsoft has said that users will be able to go back to their previous version of Windows if they do so within a month after upgrading, but it’s not clear yet how this will work.

Like unceremoniously dismissing the meek but hard-working old man (let’s call him Percy) who’s worked in the same job at the same number-crunching company for 40 years, Microsoft has dumped Minesweeper for Windows 10. Along with Solitaire and Hearts (which continue to feature on Windows 10), Minesweeper was the perfect procrastination game in the pre-superfast internet days. Bored office workers on locked-down, access-restricted computers would spend hours clicking the grey minefields of Minesweeper, desperately trying to navigate them so as to avoid having to look into dead x-eyes of the smiley face pictured above.

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